In this Retail Roundup, Managing Director Rob Smith discusses Apple TV.  Why it's so much more than a straightforward upgrade and of course what it could mean for ecommerce.  Watch this video to find out all about the key features and why the TV might become a retailer's best friend.

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We've transcribed this video below, just in case you're on a train or in a library and can't watch it right now: 

Hello, this is Rob Smith MD of Blueleaf and in this video I'm going to discuss what Apple TV could mean for ecommerce.

When Apple TV launched, it looked like a straightforward upgrade but really it's so much more than that and it's going to be extremely important for ecommerce, which is why I want to discuss it in this video. 

What Apple have announced is an update to the Apple TV to make it more  powerful, capable of playing games and generally more of an entertainment centre for the home. So they're not releasing their own TV, they're trying to make the Apple TV a lot better. But one of the extremely important things to note is that they've launched a different version of the OS, but also that it has its own app store, just like the iPhone, iPads and Macs. With its own app store, it opens up a world of possibilities for people to put apps on the TV, just like on their phone. So you have the Netflix app on there - "what's the big deal about that?" you may ask. What's interesting is that they've deeply integrated Siri within the experience, so with Netflix for example, you can ask "what did she just say?" and the programme will rewind and potentially even put subtitles up too. 

Now it's easy to envisage a step on from this, where you can say "what is she wearing?" or "what is that car?" and this could then take the viewer into an ecommerce journey. The other thing is, because Siri is so deeply integrated, we get a lot more searchability. What I mean by this, is that using the Netflix example, when you're on the Apple TV screen you can say "search for Transformers" or whatever you want to watch. This won't come up on Netflix, as it's been removed but it could come up on Hulu or another US streaming service. So it shows an aggregated set of results from the Apple TV that it pulls from all the apps and catalogues just from deep searching and deep Siri integration.  Again, this could easily go into an ecommerce journey as you could say "what are the latest Nike trainers?" and all the retailers selling them will come up. We're seeing a similar approach with Amazon's 'tube' device - these are huge advances in ecommerce that are removing friction.  

When you add touch ID on top of this,  this is an extremely quick way to purchase things - they have their own remote for touch ID.  All of a sudden more ecommerce opportunities are cropping up, where things can be very quickly and easily accessed. 

So the question for retailers is, what do we do about this? How can we best take advantage of these new eco-systems? The lines between app and web are starting to blur even more. 

On the other hand, we've got a whole eco-system living inside of Google, where Google can punish people who put a splash screen on their mobile website that directs them to download their app, so that's almost the opposite school of thought. This means we have a big collision coming, where you have an enclosed eco-system like Apple and an open eco-system like Google. We're going to need to cope with them both. This will have very powerful ramifications for ecommerce.